No matter what happens on the field at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, the star of the show will be the bloomin’ onion.
Not the deliciously crispy, glistening, 1,900-plus-calorie appetizer served at Outback restaurants, but the person who parades the sidelines in a surprisingly realistic bloomin’ onion costume. Bloomin’ Onion Man has been a huge hit with fans since he was introduced.
One of those fans is Ryan Nanni, who blogs at everydayshouldbesaturday.com, and became infatuated with Bloomin’ Onion Man during the game in January 2017.
Before long, he didn’t just want to celebrate the onion, he needed to be the onion.
He started a social media campaign, but hadn’t attracted the steakhouse chain’s interest.
hi @outbackbowl how do I get this job next year— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) January 4, 2017
I'm not joking
.@outbackbowl hey just wanted to check in, see if i need to get measured for the onion suit or anything— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) May 24, 2017
With the clock ticking down on the January 1, 2018 approach of the Outback Bowl between Michigan and South Carolina at Raymond James Stadium, Nanni threw a social media hail Mary and tweeted at Outback with a plea.
“OK, @Outback, how many retweets is it going to take for you to let me fulfill my destiny and become Bloomin Onion Man,” Nanni wrote on Tuesday. Outback’s response: 10,000.
It took him less than 24 hours. As of Wednesday morning, there were nearly 13,000 retweets.
Ok, @Outback. How many retweets is it going to take for you to let me fulfill my destiny and become Bloomin Onion Man?— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) December 5, 2017
According to the response from Outback’s verified Twitter account, they’re going to keep up their end of the deal. "We should’ve made that harder. Send us a DM so we can get your measurements to the onion fryer," the company wrote back on Twitter.
A spokesperson for Outback confirmed the news, and said that Nanni will don the costume during the third quarter, while a pro mascot will maintain those duties the rest of the game.
MISSION BLOOMCOMPLISHED pic.twitter.com/ksoZLMHvUU— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) December 5, 2017